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Public Cultural Service and Development of Soft Power in Shanghai

Oct 19, 2017

The Shanghai Municipal Government’s Information Office held a press conference on September 25 on public cultural service and development of soft power in Shanghai. Following are the highlights:


Yu Xiufen, director, Shanghai Culture, Radio Broadcasting, Film and Television Administration


Wenhui Daily: Many of the performances for this year’s Shanghai International Arts Festival have been staged already. Are there any other activities to benefit locals?

Yu Xiufeng: The Shanghai International Arts Festival has been held for 19 years. Every year, we make some improvements and innovations to meet locals’ demands for cultural experiences. Currently, the scale of the festival is three times bigger than it was in 1999. Now 350 activities are held at the festival every year with more than 4 million participants. The wide variety of public cultural activities has been an important characteristic of the festival. We launched the cultural brand, Art Sky, three years ago and have improved its functions and contents, including an urban forest concert held at the Gongqing Forest Park.

Secondly, the festival plays an important role in the city’s cultural education. This year, more students will participate in the activities. We have established a students’ group and invite high school and university students to take part in activities during the festival. Students can have the opportunity to choose their favorite activities and provide feedback and suggestions for the festival.

Thirdly, we offer tickets with favorable prices to benefit residents every year. This year, the preferential tickets will cover a wider range of activities besides stage performances. We have also improved online ticket platforms. Tickets for most of the programs can be purchased on the official site, WeChat platform or, which offer great convenience to residents. The new branch of the Youth and Children’s Library will be located in Changfeng Community of Putuo District. What did you take into consideration when choosing the location? When will the new branch open? Will the new library replace the old library on West Nanjing Road?

Yu Xiufen: The Youth and Children’s Library is one of the most important public cultural projects of Shanghai. We took the following aspects into consideration when choosing the location. Firstly, we wanted to implement the city’s 13th Five-Year Plan for Cultural Construction and Reform. The Changfeng Area of Putuo District is part of the city’s cultural planning to build the “two axis and one corridor” cultural clusters.

Secondly, the location is next to the city’s public green spaces and Suzhou Creek, which offers a good natural environment.

Thirdly, the library, located at the intersection of Daduhe Road and West Guangfu Road, has convenient transportation. The library is only about 400 meters from the planned Metro Line 15 station and a 10-minute drive from the Inner and Middle Ring Elevated Roads.

Fourthly, Putuo has rich cultural resources for youth and children, such as the Changfeng Ocean World and the newly-built Lego Exploration Center. The new library can collaborate with surrounding facilities to form a cultural cluster offering various entertainment and cultural services to youth and children.

Construction of the new library is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The new library will be for children aged from 4-16. It will offer services, including book lending, knowledge experiences, exhibitions, educational training and cultural exchange. The old library on West Nanjing Road will offer services to special groups and children under 3 years’ old. The services will also include research on children’s reading and the protection of special collections. In future, the two libraries will together serve professionals, parents and youth and children aged from 0 to16.

STV: A few years ago Shanghai launched a major historical art project, “History Thread”. I want to ask: What’s the next art project?

Yu Xiufen: The art circle in Shanghai is planning to launch an art exhibition “From Shikumen to Tian’anmen” at the China Art Museum. It revolves around the theme of Shanghai being the birthplace of the Communist Party of China, and it will be held after the 19th CPC National Congress in Beijing. Works of famous Shanghai artists from different historical periods will be displayed at the exhibition. They include Liu Haisu, Cheng Shifa, Wu Hufan, Lu Yanshao, Tang Yun, Shen Roujian, Lu Meng, He Youzhi, Fang Zengxian, and Shi Dawei. Ninety-six art works will be exhibited, symbolizing the 96th anniversary of the establishment of the CPC. We have also invited Shanghai’s writers and poets to write essays and poems on the same theme.

Another art project, “Modern Elegance”, is under way. Its theme is: Shanghai’s innovations and achievements since the opening-up and reforms. So far we have received 165 art works. We will sign contract with artists with potential and invite them to create art works on Shanghai people’s lives, and share their experience of creating such art. Their works will be exhibited across Shanghai.

The Paper: It has been a year since the launch of the cultural information sharing platform, Shanghai Culture Cloud. What are the major achievements of the platform? What will be done to expand its coverage? And how can big data be applied to better serve residents’ cultural life?

Yu Xiufen: Shanghai Culture Cloud uses big data to analyze and pinpoint residents’ need for cultural consumables, activities, and entertainment. It uses the data collected to promote and organize cultural activities and products locals are interested in.

The platform also provides residents a convenient channel to experience cultural events, such as the online version of the “Quiz on Chinese Tradition and Culture” held during the Shanghai Cultural Festival. The 300 quizzes attracted 1 million visitors and more than 100,000 participating in the activity.

This year we also launched an online art courses platform “Yi Ke E Tang”. It offers about 400 video courses and has attracted about 4 million visitors, 500,000 people have studied the courses.

We have collaborated with the Shanghai Meadow Music Festival to promote the festival on our WeChat official account and stream live shows, and offered the festival’s ticket booking service. So far we have about 1 million subscribers and 2 million music lovers have booked tickets through the service.

So far, about 30 million people have booked tickets and got information through the platform for more than 12,000 cultural activities held this year, such as chorus contest, dance contest, reading contest, quiz show, artistic innovation contest and many more.

Using the data on resident’s satisfaction rate about cultural events, the Shanghai Municipal Government and district governments can have a benchmark to assess and improve cultural centers in each district in Shanghai.

Now the Shanghai Cultural Cloud administration has a weekly comprehensive analysis on the number of ongoing cultural events in each district, the events’ reservation status, occupancy rate, and residents’ rating of the events.